AMUR-HEILONG NATURAL HERITAGE

 

All chapters:

Introduction

Climate

Waters and water management

Ecosystems and ecoregions

Species diversity and use of biological resources

Nature conservation: econet and protected areas

Countries & cultures

Economy

Land use

International policy

Hinggan Gorges: the Heart of Amur-Heilong
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The Amur-Heilong River cuts through the Hinggan Range in a spectacular narrow gorge famous for its scenic beauty.  The mighty Amur, squeezed by forested mountains, rushes towards the ocean with tremendous energy and speed, overlooked by peaceful and colorful canopy of Korean pines, oaks and ash trees.  Border rivers still provide spawning habitat chum salmon, upstream run most remote from the Pacific.  An altar is erected to commemorate the fact that just 100 years ago, during the 1900 war with the Russians, the Chinese army was saved from hunger and defeat by chum salmon coming for spawning in the nearby tributary now called Tamahahe (Salmon river).

The area is known for outstanding plant and animal diversity and still contains large tracks of pristine forests, including mixed Korean pine and broadleaf forests.  The best preserved forest ecosystems on the Russia side are confined to basins of the Dichun and Pompeevka tributaries, while on the Chinese bank the best examples are found in the Jiayin River basin and adjacent watersheds.  The area supports large numbers of endangered and relic species of vascular plants and birds and mammals (scaly-sided Merganser, Asiatic black bear, Mandarin duck, Blakinston’s fish owl, osprey and others).  The narrow floodplain in the gorge has unique characteristics and is very vulnerable to human encroachment due to its small size and accessibility..  The area is a primary habitat for Asiatic Black Bear (probably the best in northeast China), and seasonal migration of bear, deer, wild pig and other wildlife across the Amur-Heilong River is a prominent feature of the ecosystem.  Some large mammals recently disappeared from the area: leopard was last taken here in 1936, goral was last recorded in the 1970s, Siberian Tiger last bred here in the 1990s, and reintroduction of these species is still possible.  Chum salmon still spawn in Pompeevka and other right bank tributaries which is presently,probably, the Amur-Heilong’s most remote salmon run from the Pacific Ocean.

The Hinggan Gorges are navigable only in the June to September high water period.  These gorges give visitors a deep insight into the spirit of the Black Dragon River.  Downstream of the Gorges, the waters open up into a 1,500 kilometer journey to the Pacific Ocean.

Photo by V.Solkin

Maps:

Amur-Heilong on the Globe

Topography of Amur Heilong River basin

Political divisions

Small Hinggan transboundary area (Manchurian forests ecoregion)

 

Photo:

Introductory tour of Amur basin

Small Hinggan

Three gorges of the Dragon River

 

GIS: Amur-Heilong Natural  Heritage

 

Hinggan Gorge. Taipinggou. (Photo by Eugene Simonov)

 

Amur river (Photo by Yuri Darman)
 
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